Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

my sister in law is coming!!!

as you all know i love her!!!
she'll be here saturday
we aren't ready
the house is still a mess
the garden started to come on........we ate fresh green beans last night
i have to pull the garlic
divide the onions
take the babies out
find a way to finish freezing my woolens
clean the house
win the lottery.....etc
but my sister in law loves me and takes me for better or worse.....dirt and all
thank goodness
as much as i love bernie, sometimes the only thing between him and his freedom is that i adore his sister colleen

ok now to other stuff
canning has begun here as you all know
i am going to have to buy red sweet peppers for a while though......i think however the eggplants will be ok in the garden...
i have already planned on more peppers for next years garden 24 plants would be a good start
and a few 56 ft rows of beans
if the eggplant produce like i think they will, 10 of them will be enough
i am giving up on the heirloom tomatoes until late blight is over
i am also in the mood to draw, paint and make some cloth dolls (mainly halloween cloth dolls)
i wish i could do a porcelain run but i don't have the studio for it at the moment....
although i would imagine if i planned it VERY carefully.... and did a limited edition run.... with just porcelain head/hands/feet........ maybe i can do that

however, i am thinking that i would have to pre-sell the run to get bernie to agree to me working in porcelain in the house again....(i sooooo need a HUGE separate shed, with storage and messy space)
anyway, i have a yen to make some cloth pretty witch dolls
and also more pumpkin headed dolls.....
maybe with pet bats, and a few ghosties?
i found the southern belle muslin online, which is what i use for the cloth dolls
but how i also long to make some porcelain.
i also want to draw, i think it all has something to do with the growing of the garden.....or that is my theory.
maybe it's because my sister in law is coming and i am so happy when she's here.
i have someone to help with my antics!!!
(no bernie isn't around much to help) i really wish i had someone that lived close that does some of what i do....... and we could help each other.
now last night, we had ribs, with the fresh from the garden green beans and fresh corn, (bernie didn't want potato salad)
tonight is left overs...... more ribs cause i made 6 pounds
now i have to think of something for colleen saturday night, although it will be after midnight when we get home.
and then sunday morning, bernie will naturally cook eggies...... thank goodness, cause i got eggies up the wazzoo............
*** custards need to be made ***
oh btw, as an aside to catherine....i am from jersey originally, (just found your comment on my doll blog) have you heard my voice on the duck videos?
anyway, i have determined that while my beloved sister in law is here
maybe we will spend lazy days between the garden, deck, chickens, ducks, budgies, cats and kitchen.........
i will take pictures and bring sketch pads and maybe even sew a bit
i swear if my sister in law lived here, we'd open an emporium of interesting things, which would include my dolls, stuff we can, heirloom seeds, my soaps, lotions, etc, interesting antiques, interesting collectables, hand painted furniture, posters, cards etc of my drawings.... books that are wonderful, and so on......
oh and a B&B with a farm! in season classes of canning, knitting, spinning, animal care, doll making............
i would end up aging in reverse i think!
just think though every spring we could have baby animal week........ with me happily in the barn surrounded by what i love the most
now i need to go and clean the kitchen
and dream of a larger garden

Monday, June 28, 2010

shit it's hot

it's just after 9:30 and it's like 87 out there
i got 4 of the 6 chickens out
phoebe beat on lilli and LILLI bit her on the ass!
payback's a bitch

i watered the garden and now i need to do something in the house for colleen's visit
the babies don't appear to want their crumbles this morning
i do have the ac on in the house but it's on like 77.......i could make it a bit warmer
the babies have hot water bottles with them
today is their 1 week birthday
and they are BIG
they are about outgrown their laundry basket!!! these guys are going to be bigger ducks then what i got now i think
and i could use some close ups of them.......

oh man

i need breakfast

ok this week i believe that i will be using my roaster oven to cook in.....OUTSIDE
and i think the bbq
it's just too hot for anything else

i did hit the sale on coffee at shoprite and got 12 of the big cans of chock full of nuts
the next big sale i will get at least 6more and figure we are ok

oh and anyone got roaster oven adapted ideas?
today i am going to do a rack of ribs
tomorrow is sandwitches.....
wens who knows?

Sunday, June 27, 2010

time out from the 24/7 baby posts

i want to talk about art, and about how right now i am not drawing
(ok so a little talk about the babies-they are the reason partly i am not drawing)
i been cleaning and such but not drawing
although i am thinking of drawing
what i have been thinking of is how absorbingly interesting it was for me (maybe not for anyone else) to do that small series of drawing that showed the fear of the wind monsters for the adult ducks
specifically what i found interesting is how i could restate the same basic idea..... and have them come out radically different
i found that compelling and fascinating.......enough so that i am going to do that again with a different idea

i also (please don't mind me) want to explore how my work is changing again...... to a very clean graphic book illustration style..... which i do like very much (not that i don't like the big black/white pen & inks which i will also continue to do)
there is something so expectant about the largish areas of just white paper that i like
type can be dropped in there, or imagination can be dropped in there
i think that maybe this project has found it's voice?
could be
i will also lament the lack of drawing time right now
i can feel it bubbling up in me
however i also need this time to not only raise the babies, but to photograph them and document them, and tame them while they learn about their life on the earth
as you all realize, i get incredible joy out of them
on friday, jen and her children came over......we all sat with the babies for over 3 hours
just watching them learn about their world.
the peace was astounding
even the kids at one point felt it
(these kids are extremely active- such is the power of watching new life experience the world for the first time)
when the babies were tired out, we were renewed and refreshed
and i want to draw that

i was reading a book i just got called art & fear i realized from this book that i never abandoned my life as an artist, even when it would have appeared i did......i simply found a way to do art that i could make a living with
even when i had the toiletry company, i was designing product, packaging, advertizing, etc......
all of which brings me to now

the now where i am happily raising baby ducks to learn from, live with, write about, and draw

Saturday, June 26, 2010

now today it was babies first bath!!! i risked the camera to bring you all the video

it's in three parts.... the last one is little thumbprint having the time of his/her life learning to bath like a duck!!!

i did finally get bernie down to see them......he thought they were pretty cute too!!!!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

well today was a big day, we went OUT..

hahahaha tired the babies out too but that's good as when i go and feed them they are eager to eat

the little one with the black thumbprint on it's head ( i think it's a she) is appearing to get stronger, but it's slow.

the one with the tan cap i think is my new drake.... watch out falstaff we could eat you now....(KIDDING, he's too tough to eat....

actually i am attached to him, as he listens pretty good for the most part and he is my first duck as an adult) so if that tan one is a boy, he will be lilli's husband! when he grows up

she'll boss him around good too

i am not getting anything done in the house but boy am i enjoying these babies-i'd forgotten how much fun i had the last time (two years ago when i raised lilli and phoebe's nest) i think i am glad now i did get the ducklings, although i wasn't sure i should if you all remember.

tomorrow now we'll all go out for a bit longer and we'll go where i know there are flies....

i wish i had back stairs, as it would be sooooooo helpful right now to carry them in and out so

anyway i hope some of the video and pictures help you folks feel some of what it's like to have babies.....

now as they grow they will at one point come to the stage i call the daisy stage....where they are yellow and white (cause i have white ducks) they are teens at that stage....and pretty awkward looking... it's before the carunkling really comes in, but they have that weird alien ridge thing starting on their faces... at that stage it's usually hard to get them to come in and out like they do now and like they will later and i can't wait until the primaries grow in so i can clip one wing...

which makes them safer with my neighbors

everyone, please let me know what you all think of the babies we are going to need names too soon (as soon as we figure out who is what)
i am considering sebastion or bartholemu for a drake..... (or should i hang on to sebation for the new cat that will eventually be here?)
we could also go with orthelo for a boy or gillieford

the girls will be a bit everyone dust off your shakespear...........
we are going to need names!


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

duckling video

i have duckling hopes for today

since no ducklings came yesterday but my hope for alive healthy ducklings is getting dimmer.

meanwhile i was up most of the night, i realized it is because of pain.
i am in pain most of the time
tonight i take aspirin
and when the insurance is fixed (if it ever is) i go to the ortho

now to update you in poultry happenings (besides the ducklings that did not come yesterday)
i am starting to take the chickens out in a i can stuff 4 in there at a time.....
i may switch out to the big crate and stuff all six in
one trip is what i can handle
instead of six squirming chickens........ although really colette and dulcette don't give me any problems
henrietta and fudgie give me minimal problems
and of course babette and goldie give me tons of problems
gotta love them
i kept fudgie in yesterday and she played around all day until sometime around noonish before she actually STAYED in the nest to lay......took 2 or 3 hours for her to lay too.
she hogs the nests.........fudgie is a NEST HOG
the others don't like that
they won't share with her either
they chant at her 'nest hog' however it's in chicken-ese so it sounds like BAAAAAAAAAAAAACCCCCCC BBBBBBBAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACCCCCCCC
to the unskilled ear


phoebe continues in her homicidal maniac mood, with a distinct preference to killing lilli. she also looks a bit pale in the carunkling as well as heavy in the egg bulge area. i been making an effort to get her out to graze and to bath, it isn't easy as she is very flighty right now
so to speak
(she has no primary feathers yet, some tiny pink **from the blood vein** flights are starting to think about growing in, she looks pretty though)

lilli, who would prefer NOT to be killed by phoebe or anyone else is doing her lilli thing- generally following me around and going about her purposeful worm hunting and grazing activities.
she gives the raspberries to phoebe occationally but mostly is more interested in 'where's the worms, and where's mommy' respectively.
she isn't happy about being in the a frame and would also prefer to have the chickens NOT in the back day pen if possible, thank you very much.
she made me laugh yesterday as apparently i was on the phone talking to jen too long
she nibbled my foot......which is a wonderous thing
it feels cool too
it's sort of duck love
i love lilli but i really love lilli when she's sweet like that
at other times she tends to squeek at me
that duck makes me laugh---ok so all ducks make me laugh
they are just such DUCKS!
the chickens make me laugh too but in a different way

now i am supposed to be doing the ducklings crate thing
but i just want to fall asleep-coffee isn't helping at all at the moment.
if i could i would go back to sleep with the cats for an hour or two
how i am going to function with doing the house etc i don't know

so there you have it
if the ducklings come today i will post and let you all know

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

ducklings didn't come today.......

possibly tomorrow...keep your fingers all crossed for these tiny little beings....that they make it here ok

waiting for ducklings

i got the call yesterday, that the ducklings should be in either today or tomorrow
but that they may all be dead due to heat
he said that they ship all the time and usually have no problems

but that i have to open the box at the post office

i was up all night

i hope they come today and all are ok     of course i will post pictures if they are ok---- now i am trying to get the pictures of my big maples up, the trunks are over 70'' in diameter, they are huge, but the pictures don't do them any justice at all, if you could see them, and stand next to them you would understand just how big they really are....... i could use a picture of bernie under one of them i could fit at least two of him in each trunk....maybe more
i would love to tap that sugar maple for syrup every year, i showed charlie, (from jody and charlie that i get the chickens from) as he taps his, and he thinks i can run the sap next season from both and boil it over an open fire
i would absolutely love that- could you imagine? syrup and sugar from our own trees?

ok i haven't had coffee yet so i am going to go as i want to be ready to run immediately to the post office if the babies are there

Monday, June 21, 2010

the weekend was ***happy solstice btw***

quiet after the road call
semi productive

and today i have a list a mile long
i am still lingering over coffee however....and it's almost 9:30!

we have one more weekend to finish getting ready for my sister in law's visit
will we make it? i don't know
we still have to paint the bathroom and move around stuff in the studio to put up the antique bed for us to sleep on ( i sure wish i had wall space and a murphy bed at the moment)
i also know i owe you all more photo's
i keep forgetting to take the pictures of the BIG maples.....(they are huge)
i always end up taking pictures of the chickens or ducks....or garden
but not of the house or maples....i should do that today huh?
i hope to remember

it was hot over the weekend too......and humid which made me realize even more that we need a lot of cold stuff ready
with a ton of frozen fruits ready to blend up into seltzer for drinks and coolers
i am going to keep a few pints of sugar syrup on hand too
i have some summer lettuces growing right now and i need to put in more
i wish i had planned this better.......
anyway i hope to get back to you all this afternoon with photo's
right now i am going to eat some eggs and get the day going

Sunday, June 20, 2010

hot and humid

and we are in the house with the AC on now, trying to get it dried out
we are doing floors
i think we may be having a problem with thaddeaus, he was peeing on the floors we found out
we thought it was calpurrnia
but it is deffinately thaddeaus now
bernie doesn't think he needs to see a vet
i think he does

meanwhile he's sleeping on a pillow behind me

we slept last night, we did get to bed just around when it turned dark and slept until about 7 am
still tired
and i am grumpy
(bernie's trying to be a bit less grumpy)
today we'll have a big salad most likely for lunch
and i am thinking.....salad every night this week

ok i have to go do dishes and such now

Saturday, June 19, 2010

we were out all night on a road call

i will return when i am less dead..........
please stay tuned

Thursday, June 17, 2010

WARNING picture heavy, books, purple bean flowers & VIDEO

if blogger will allow me a video of the chickens
now let's see where we are- chickens..... and the sweet peppers that i canned the other day. then we have the bush beans see the pretty flowers!!! pink and purple right now..... other colors to follow- the variegated round leaves are nasturtium --- then there are the pole beans starting up the trellis, then there are the second half ( i think) of the books from the book sale with thaddeaus inspecting them for quality.. oye---now i can't find a place to load video on this blog so i am going to post this and see what i can do about the video

mosquitos got me good

we put the ac on about 3am, it was really hot and thaddeaus had decided he didn't want to sleep on my pillow anymore

bernie finally got a bit more sleep
(he thinks he didn't sleep but he snored all do i know?? well damn I DIDN'T SLEEP cause of his SNORING)
when i got up this morning i was all bitten up
even my face ( showered before bed and no sunscreen reapplied)
i am very sick of this
it' seems that they come in through the AC somehow and then when it's rainy out they are much worse then when it's dry
hot and humid makes them bite me

yesterday i read memiors of a geisha, i started it in the morning and finished it yesterday......
i really need to lock up my books
weather like this makes me stick my nose in a book and once i do....i don't seem to take it out until i'm finished with that book
i'm a very fast reader but still.......i got work to do and no time to stick my nose in a book on a rainy gloomy overcast day (which is of course the perfect day for summer reading)


today i need to put all the chickens out.......
and do gardening work
and then do the living room, i have some boxes in there that need to go out to the garden for mulching under beds
i also need to get to the post office......... but will most likely send bernie
i need to get ready for ducklings!!! they ship tuesday i believe!!!
6 ducklings is going to be a lot easier then the 10 i had last time..........i just hope i only have one drake........i really don't want to have to send any up the hill
today looks sunny....... (i can see some sun out back on the tree leaves........i need to take the camera with me i suppose, i owe you folks a ton of photos)

btw, i am thinking of calling the little blue easter budgie 'emma'
i still need a name for the lemon colored one....(don't think i didn't think of lemon but she bites already- i didn't want to sour her)

i really should not have taken yesterday off to read again...... i am behind to begin with, now i am even more behind..........oye

ok well i'm off
i have to start my day.....
you all have a nice day today, and i hope it's not too hot or cold where you all are

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

stock making for catherine

ok normally i start with a stewing hen, if you buy one it may be called a hen or a stewing fowl
or a 'fowl for stewing' or fowl for fricassee

i try to get a big one 6-7 pounds at least
if you are using carcuss, it's a bit different so i'll start with fowl and end with carcuss

i use a 20 or 25 quart stock pot
fill it about 3/4 of the way up with cold water
i add a carrot or two, an onion ( a BIG ONE) two stalks of celery
and about 4 garlic cloves....try to make sure they are BIG ones as well
it they are tiny, i may use the whole head
a bit of freshly ground pepper corns
some fresh italian parsley (dried if you don't have fresh)
sometimes dill..not much though

add your chicken and a bit of kosher salt and set it to simmer
i skim off the foamy protein and feed that to the cats
i simmer for at least 3 hours.....but i prefer 5 or 6
and i add water as needed

when it's done i set it in the cold......either on the deck (during the winter-during the day)
or in the fridge
i do sometimes defat it
but my dad said always keep some of the fat and he was right as there are soluble vitamins in it

i either can or freeze it

you can puree the veggies with some of the broth for a 'cream' soup
i pick over the chicken well as the meat makes the BEST salad and sandwitches

now for some stocks i will roast the veggies ahead and then put them in and do the stock that way

as to a carcuss
you can brown them first, sometimes i do put the carcuss back in the roasting pan and brown them then deglaze them with water
sometimes i just toss it in the water as if it was a fresh whole fowl

it all depends on what i have on hand and what i have time for

some times i will simmer off the stock when it's done until it condenses and i will can that
or use that condensed stock with saute'd mushrooms as a concentrate.......canning it in 4oz jars for soups and sauces and gravies

does this help?

some folks add a teaspoon of vinegar to the stock as it's simmering to get some of the calcium out of the bones
you can do wont' taste any different

usually 3 quarts make a supper soup for us
the basic stock can be used for almost anything after..... all sorts of soups and such

is it to rain........or isn't it?

that is the question (to paraphrase the bard)
it's sort of darkish, and it's after 8am
yesterday was a sort of quiet day,
chickens (henrietta declined to go out) however dulcette happily was running around with the others
ducks (lilli got multiple baths)
gardening -i put tin foil squares around the squash plants and one around a bush bean to see if that made a difference and now i have to tie up the 'bush' beans as they apparently didn't get the memo that they were supposed to be BUSH beans.....not semi runners
pantry organizing..... oye
i took something like 12 boxes of pasta down to the freezer..this is the new stock that i got for .67 a pound ( i would have preferred 37 a pound but what can you do)
i ordered co2 absorbers to put the new pasta up in canning jars.......eventually i will get mylar bags to put it all up with.
i also make sausage sandwitches for supper that i really really REALLY liked...... with fresh onions and dried sweet peppers.....(love them dried sweet peppers you know...... i use them all the time)

i have pork chops for tonight...... but i am also going to hard boil some eggs i think....

bernie took the old gauge off my canner, as it's registering 5 pounds just sitting on the desk.... no good
there is a new one that will take it's place and that one registers 0 so that's good

canning season is off to a very delayed start due to my gauge but i am determined so it will be much better then last years almost none exhistant
and i have two turkey in the freezer i am going to roast, and process
that will give me stock as well for the canner..... loves me some stock in the canner
loves me some stock on the SHELVES
the more stock the more secure i feel...... i don't know why
but winter means a lot of soup around here so i like a LOT of stock in the pantry.
i used to do a stewing chicken monthly, for the 5 gallons of stock i go through a month during the winter (stock is not just for soup anymore, it's the basis for gravy and sauces too)
anyway, stock is coming up too

now in bean news!!!!!! i got a FLOWER and it's PURPLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!
shouldn't be long now huh?
i also found my BT so that will be mixed up for the weekly spay on the cucubits
the cucumbers don't looks as vigorous as i would have liked so they will be getting a mulch of compost and manure from the chickens

and the new brussels sprout plants will be transplanted to larger pots prior to going into the garden
i have to start new zukes and patty pans in the house as well.... to plant out in case of vine borer invasion
i have spaghetti squash out there and two patty pan, along with a few butternut plus a climbing zuchinni
i didn't put a pumpkin in (next year pumpkin and spaghetti, pattypan, ***i want to get an orange pattypan*** and assorted sweet squashes)
i am going to replant more bush beans and some more squash later in the season

i also need to get the fridge cleaned out
and the bathroom plus the living room and bedroom oye

i am not getting there

has anyone noticed that?

ok i am going now
cause i am distracted

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

the life of fawn

our oldest cat fawn who is also the great gramma to our other two cats, thaddeaus and calpurrnia, has been with us for 5 years now.....
she was 5 when she came
the first 5 years of her life were vastly different from what these past 5 have been
i wonder if the past 5 have made up for the first?

she was born in a cage, and except for a few instances.........lived all her first 5 years in a cage.
well cared for, cleaned, fed, brushed......but in a cage.
she went from the cattery cage to the carrier
from the carrier to the show cage, or the breeding cage, or the queening cage
then she came here

now the reason i have these cats is because of her.
i saw her face online

it was love at first site

she lives here now

now her days are filled with her grandchildren, with birds, and bugs and mice (she likes to eat them when she catches them)
with dust and dirt on the floors
feathers on her nose
sprawling among the african violets on my craft desk behind my drafting table while i draw
or 'sharing' my drafting stool with me.
she lols around on the cat tree, sleep with me on the bed
follows everyone around the house
and gets hugs and kisses and pets and rubs almost constantly
but it took us 5 long years to get to this point where fawn is a normal cat

i was thinking about her this morning, as i got up and there she was....laying on the side of the bed waiting for me to open my eyes.

i love you so much fawnie, and i am so lucky that you are you, that because of your sacrifice we have thaddeaus and calpurrnia, and
to which fawn replys......

'is there fancy feast'?

COULD there be fancy feast???


then she runs off to play with thaddeaus

Monday, June 14, 2010

the last two ducks pictures side by side

5 am --- we meet again

bernie had a very restless leg night
he kicked me
he kicked the cats
he kicked himself

i didn't sleep
he did sorta

so i am up
i was actually up before 5am but there you go

now over the weekend between being sick and the faucet explosion, we also managed two nice stock up shopping trips
so today is mushroom drying
and sweet pepper roasting and canning.........
i am so excited about canning season starting
i do have to do more of an inventory and i have to clean out the canning pantries in the cellar
that will be in between the getting ready for colleen stuff

we also put dulcette in with the other chickens overnight
i am hoping that they will not fight this morning.......... i hope
cause it would sure help me out if they would behave

i need a good sale on coffee....... the small cans for like 1.79 would be good...... 1.35 would be better but i will stock at 1.79
the BIG cans at 4-5 would be good too.......i would also stock on them....... 12 of them would last me the year until a harvest is good for coffee

i am also going to be cleaning the freezer soon, all frost damaged stuff is going to become animal food.
and i am going to order new vacuum sealer bags.
frozen veggies that are freezer burnt will be chicken and duck treats during hot weather
all the meat will be canned as cat food
meanwhile the weather here is very hot
very humid
lots of rain
i hope the garden is happy
i broke down and picked up organic plant fertilizer for veggies due to all the rain
i am thinking that the soil will be leaching bad so i need to add
i also need some bone meal and cat hair to persuade some small rodents that they are not welcome.
more of my brussel sprouts ..........sprouted
now i want to move them on to bigger pots before putting them out in the garden
meanwhile i am still recovering not only from my fall in april but from what appears to be a bad bout of IBS
which means i am not eating right (yup that is very true)
again with the oye

ok now with the list for today
ducks and chickens (naturally)
fertilize the garden
wash (AGAIN as bernie heaped dirty stuff on top of the clean ones) the dehydrator trays
dry the mushrooms
roast and peel the peppers (and i dry and powder the peels.....add the powder to soups and stews and salad dressings and breads, and pilaf and meat loaf......and and and........ well you get the picture)
can the peppers
i still need to make the inventory needed and inventory have chart
i think i need like 3 cases of pints for the sweet pepper sauce........we do eat a lot of it
so i can make it in batches i suppose
but i would sooooooo like to get a bushel of sweet red peppers and half a bushel each of orange and yellow

i told bernie we need to still do the cold frame...slowly but it needs to be finished by september
even if i have to buy one board a week to do it
that will give us winter salads and spinach
hopefully we will also have brussel sprouts......(this will be the 4th time i try and grow them damn things i hope this year to be sucessful)
between the canned tomatoes
frozen beans
fresh in the garden overwintered
and the cold cellar for potatoes we should be ok no?
i hope
i will try and dry carrots, and eggplants and zucs like i usually do
i am going to see about drying 100 # of potatos this winter, 50 of yukons and 50 of russets
some of my dried russets seem to have gone bad, i think because it was pretty humid when i dried them ( early summer- to save the bag) but they will go on the compost so it won't be a total loss...
i have a few jars of flat sour beans to go there too...... or to the chickens if they want them
i am not sure if those beans are actually flat sour or if they are just bad cause the neighbor had given them to me (they laid around in a bag on her kitchen floor for a week...and they smoke like crazy there)
i canned the ones not molded

i think that is pretty much it today, except some time today i need to get change of a 20.......
oh man that means i have to go out

have i mentioned i hate to go to town

Sunday, June 13, 2010

it's terrible humid out.....and hot and raining and generally rain forest-ish

and we got the adaptor so i think the dishwasher will be ok
we also did some stocking up... dish soap etc..
i feel better when we have the pantry stocked for a just makes me more secure
i got sweet peppers, so i am going to roast and can them
i got peaches.....i want peach grilling sauce, so i will can that too
meanwhile i am trying to cool off
i got the AC blasting trying to dry the place out
bernie is going to grill chicken..... smart of him as i am pissy now from hearing him bitch and the heat
i am also a lovely shade of aubergine from the heat

however i think i can go on in the kitchen the sooner i get going the happier i will be
in a while i am also going to check on what could be drowned chickens...(the back of their pen should be dry) and some more beans i hope popped up.
i know that the cuc's are about tall enough to train to the trellis, as are the beans

anyway, it would appear i have a faucet AND the dishwasher again........ maybe after i feed bernie he won't be the beast from hell either?
oye again

new faucet

and here it is....... we had an emergency yesterday, i was sick most of the day (IBS) and had gone out on the deck to try and warm up with my wool hat on my head (it was 80 degrees) when i heard the smoke alarm go off. now before i'd gone out i hooked up the dishwasher to do a load of canning jars..... i went into the kitchen and saw a FOUNTAIN of hot water spewing out of where the faucet used to be!.....not to mention the entire kitchen flooded....i couldn't get the smoke alarm off.. i couldn't get bernie is
oh man
well i did get the water off and got a bit burnt...
finally got bernie in, he took the battery out of the alarm and then he got pissed...... and more pissed and more pissed...... we got the new faucet.... naturally he didn't like it... cause i told him i wanted a single lever....he told me that was stupid.  I DID NOT HIT HIM, but boy did i come close.  after all it's MY kitchen and i spend the most time in it......not to mention that i do most of the cooking, all of the canning, freezing and preserving, and most of the dishes etc.
well it's in...... but not after a million tantrums on his part.
i don't have a hook up for the dishwasher now.... and i don't have the bottom part of the faucet either...... but i have sink water and a sprayer that works
(my old sprayer kept breaking and he wouldn't replace it)
 meanwhile i was at shoprite for the ronzoni sale..... .67 a pound.....i got i think 30 pounds, which should do me until the next 67 cent sale.......
unfortunately the pastina wasn't on sale.... but at least the angel hair WAS.......
i also got some expensive sweet peppers to roast peel and can...... red, yellow and orange......i think i'll do them in layers
now today i have a massive sinus headache..... but i think if i can get it to drain, i'll be ok
i do need to finish the kitchen .....(excuse me while i have manical hysterical tinged bitter laughter..... i am to the point that i am thinking i have to do the kitchen myself)

right now however, bernie seems to be taking birds out.....
i am going to have another cuppa and see if i can feel a bit better.....
then i will get dressed...... go back to home depot and try to get an adaptor for the hookup
and finish the kitchen

Saturday, June 12, 2010

bernie's doppledanger

after i wrote what was supposed to be todays only post, i heard the front door open, and bernie come in, walk upstairs and close the bathroom door.
the cats heard it to.....
i went to talk to him
the bathroom door was open
(the cats followed me but didn't go up)
i called him
no answer
i looked out the window
no bernie truck

when he finally got home i asked him if he really really REALLY wanted to get home and he said yes......then i said, 'did you have to pee' and he said YES REALLY BAD
life is never dull around here

Friday, June 11, 2010

shhhh this is really friday but it's saturday's post

fair enough?

today was dulcette's day in the outside pen.... meanwhile i had 5 very annoyed chickens in the house.. bouncing out of the house pen and running all over the basement
tomorrow the chickens will all get together.....and who ever survives will be our chickens
(JUST KIDDING no one will die, i hope...! ......we'll referee them so no blood will be drawn but they have to reestablish pecking order)
ok today i got part of the kitchen done.... i would stand and work for 10 minutes then sit for 20 seemed to work ok
i also ordered some art supplies.... some of the paint i still needed, a brush.. odds and ends
what else?
paid bills......
washed two dirty duckies...... and hosed down a drake......(his libido was a bit, ahem... warm shall we say.... i cooled his ass off, literally......... hahahaha oye)

since the kitchen is now offically pulled completely apart...... we are having pizza.... the dishes are all cleaned but the kitchen is all apart
(not that i have COUNTER TOPS OR ANYTHING)

i got evidence from behind the dehydrator that we had mouse dances......

something needs to be done with this house and this kitchen NOW

ok let's see what else........ i am still popping handfuls of vitamin d
i never seem to get my levels up, they have tested me over the years and even if i take extra i'm ususally really low on it
so i figured no matter what i took it wouldn't hurt
as even when they did the 50,000 units i tested low after
maybe it's helping the tiredness?
although i could go right up to sleep NOW

ok since i typed that i realized.....i really can't keep my eyeballs open
sooooooooo night all
i will try and update you folks tomorrow afternoon

i swear i have nothing to write about! let's see if that stops me at all?

i boiled a dozen pullet eggs last night, for egg salad. bernie peeled and mashed them while i took my shower. we had enough egg salad for a sandwitch for me, and two for him plus a bit left over. i am so glad that the pullet eggs are getting bigger, as normally 6 of my chicken eggs will give us that plus lunches

to continue on with the chicken theme, i tried to see if dulcette and colette would get on....... nope they i am going to have to figure this out again......
meanwhile poor dulcette is by herself and i think a bit lonely.....she's never been away from her sister and now her sister henrietta wants to kill her
meanwhile the pullets are giving me 4 eggs a day...thank goodness, as i was really needing eggs
i got confirmation that the ducklings are being set for they will be coming soon, now i don't know if their eggs are just starting to set or they are setting X amount of eggs a day so then out of the X amount .....six have my name on them.......?
but either way i hope for 5 ducks and a drake.
that is perfect for what i need
i am so sorry that i gave away two ducks from lilli and phoebe's nest....the people didn't take care of them , and one supposedly flew away (i asked if they wanted me to come up and clip one wing) and the other died supposedly the next day...meanwhile when i asked the wife how they were she told me 'fine'
so now i'll never trust her or them again

in budgie news.... we are slated to move them closer together, we were to have done that over the weekend and did NOT.
bernie continues to be home after 9 so nothing is really getting done....... sorta.... if he would get home at a more normal time .......even 7pm, we could get 15 minutes here and 15 minutes would all add up you know

now today i know, i SHOULD go and get the shower curtains for the bathroom, and one or two other little things i need for colleen........(we also have mold on the bathroom ceiling and i really need to scrape, sand and prime that with mildew resistant stuff)

i been trying to take extra vitamin d lately..... i am hoping that will give me a bit more energy. i always test way too low on vitamin d..... and since it's not actually a vitamin but a pre-hormone, i figured i better at least try and help it out a bit
my legs are hurting lately too..... bad.
i am actually hobbling around!
this getting old thing sucks i think....... so does the messed up insurance without diagnostics
so i can go to the doctor but can't get any of my tests done or the RX filled on the outcome of those tests...... cause i can't afford diagnostics!

and we'll take a sharp left into the garden ok?  i now have 18 pole beans up, i am hoping that the rest come up shortly. Stortino di Trento.(curved from Trent) Pole anellino is the one that is slower to be sprouting. even the climbing zucchini is up and started well...(i'll grow that on the fence)
i also put some wire fence sections in the cucumber bed, 'hinged' at the top with zip ties for a half ass trellis, but i think it will work... it's been a bit cooler so the garden is sort of suspended in slow motion right now. after the rain the other night however a had massive sprouting of the beans so maybe it's just i haven't seen some of the stuff break ground yet?
oh and i am feeding slugs to ducks and chickens....... yeah for ducks and chickens
here's hoping for a good harvest this year......
and here is me trying to figure out the absolute minimum i need in sweet red peppers to do the canning for the winter....i am thinking at least 80 of them, 40 just to make the roasted sweet red pepper sauce.
i better start trying to either find a good deal on them or start buying two or three a week at horrible prices.... even though i got pepper plants in........i am thinking they won't do much this year.. NEXT year i am going to do an entire bed of nothing but peppers.....(and maybe also that 56 foot wall with peppers)
i use peppers for drying, and canning in that roasted sweet pepper sauce, fresh eatting, and the tapenade (with eggplant)

you know....... the more i think about it....the more i realize that if we put a bed in down that section of privacy fence.... two feet wide.. i most likely CAN get enough peppers next year IF there is enough sun there)... and as we rotate crops that can give me enough room for broccoli for the freezer OR green beans or whatever....... IF there is enough sunlight there.......hmmmmm
there are a few trees grew up there...... a couple sumac and a couple of maples... we can cut most of them down........ one has my clothes line on it but we could always put up a pole or just top that tree off a few feet above my clothes line...
fence the rest in against the ground hog and chickens........... hmmmm

ok well as visions of gardening dance in my head.....i will leave you all to your thoughts this friday
me, i have to start my day.....i should go to the PO and then to town....
but i most likely won't..instead i may just put the birds out and then do the kitchen or something

wow for someone with nothing to say, i sure took a long time with it

Thursday, June 10, 2010

and yesterday i read

all day

gee i really AM lazy

it was dark and overcast and rainy, i put out poor little dulcette all by herself
and then came in and read an entire marion zimmer bradley book (one of her avalon series) then started on 'the legend of sleepy hollow and other tales' by washington irving...illustrated by ARTHUR RACKHAM (for 3BUCKS) i love washington irving.......and i adore sleep hollow
as well as the entire tarrytown area.......that's where rhinebeck is every fall.
that whole area ( well also pretty much all of rural new york state) sings to my soul.....
i could so well imagine having lived there in a former live about 200 or more years ago
and my mother's side of the family had farms upstate........ how i wish i did as well

so now today, if i prove to be awake.....which may not be as i got up at 8am surrounded by furry bodies
i should do chickens, then clean house
hahahah that is so not getting done
i can't seem to really get anywhere

i had a slight 'discussion' with bernie...... he's got these 5 he runs AFTER work to one or another...... and doesn't get home until after 9....our home life is not functioning well because of this
and he is the walking dead most of the time
i fear for his health

in garden sorta news, i got my order from heirloom arces but not after going through paypal and threatening them, they shipped the very next day
these seeds better be good
i won't ever use them again though, i'll use holmes or fedco, pinetree, baker creek rare seeds .........anyone else but heirloom acres
i am going to sucession plant the green beans and put in the turkey gizzards maybe on the deck as i want to save seeds from them (turkey gizzard or turkey craw beans are fantastic green beans, i haven't tried them dried yet but as snaps they are wonderful.... they are an old heirloom variety, i recommend them and the white seeded marvel of venice as two fantastic varieties that are productive, taste wonderful and are open pollinated
the curved green pole beans i put in haven't broken ground yet but the marvel of venice are all up i think
i may have to replant them curved beans...

i would love to have a garden that is about 100' by 150' and do rows, cause i would love to have a hundred or two hundred feet of 'green' beans. as well as space for all the tomatoes, and peppers etc i would love to grow
meanwhile i keep making dirt and trying to raise the beds out back, while plotting to fence down the line (over 300 feet on one side) to put in alternating years worth of stuff...hahahaha
at least 100 feet of the line should be planted to green beans next year don't you think... then maybe peppers the year after?
i think that the current back garden eventually should be a winter garden and put the summer garden more to the front of the house.....bernie may not agree

ok i have to start my day, as i am sitting here in my sleep shirt and still on my first cup of coffee
i am so damn behind that i am beginning to really think bernie is right....i must be lazy

ok ttyl

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

i am so tired lately

and not getting nearly as much done as i need to be.
i don't know if it is the weather changes or if it's something going south in my old lady body....or lack of sleep

anyway, today i woke up at 5am and stayed in bed with the cats reading a while.......we'll see how the day goes today

yesterday i got 4 pullet eggs, i had to wait a LONG time for fudgie to lay her egg....fudgie is truly a nervous chicken......she is chicken little i think. she darts here and there.... colette is a most satisfying chicken, she is the smallest, but she is the epitome of a happy busy chicken, industrious, busily scratching for tiny bugs and seeds that will be turned into eggs. not much bothers her, she is agreeable, and is the first to be picked up .... i really like that chicken
babette and goldie are loud...... they are i suppose average as chickens go

in duck news, we got a confirmation in the mail of the ducklings i ordered, they will be setting the eggs they said
i think that they should be here by at least when colleen gets here i hope, it takes 35 days to hatch muscovy and then whatever shipping is... 2 days?

i sat in the half finished garden yesterday, watching the chickens and trying to figure out what bed needs to be put in next.......along with what would be planted next, and i realized that if i am to settle on two years worth of harvest with rotating crops i need not only more space, but a lot of help from mother nature
i think the next beds will be the cold frames, so i know that i have them  when i need them

i am hoping for one more open bed in time for late cabbage and some turnips and such........i hope
anyway, that's today

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

my dream house.....what i wouldn't do for this house
oh my
i would build the cape, with the kitchen wing and attach a studio to the end.....
one of the pictures in the gallery shows a covered screened porch that leads to the garage, i would add that too
i would paint it a purpley red almost a maroon red, with self colored trim and a dark reddish brown roof......or maybe just a dark brown with the same color roof.....
i would love it on 10 acres.....with a barn to match

oh man........ i would LOVE this house.....
i would never leave it...(and i rarely go out now....i would never go

it's got a nice sized kitchen and the bathroom nearest the back stairs i would convert into a pantry room (keep the plumbing roughed in) the other bathroom i would put a washer/dryer in..... there seems to be enough room
i love that house

Monday, June 07, 2010

part two is going to wait

cause i misplaced the camera
sorry about that

we had a decent weekend, i hope all you folks did too
we did have a bad storm yesterday afternoon, for about 45 minutes......bernie missed it as he was in the shower
the chickens hid
the ducks lamented

it cooled everything off

later when it was a bit dryer, we went out to bring in the chickens, we put the actual trellis netting on the wood framing so the latest bed is finished, tonight i will plant out the tomatoes, eggplants and peppers that have been waiting
and i believe also a butternut or three, and some patty pan
i want a spaghetti squash or two as well

now part of todays work is putting up cucumber thingies......i think i am going to make sorta ladders for them to grow on sections of fencing and zip tied tops
i also have to continue on the kitchen, i am washing my stash of canning rings, and setting up the dehydrator ( i have an excalibur 9 shelf, in case anyone wants to know, i also have an excalibur 5 shelf..... and a round american harvester...... go for the excalibur 9 shelf if you possibly can)
there weren't any vidalia onions cheap this year like normally...... i normally get about 5 of the 'ten' pound boxes for 4.99 a box (boxes usually weight about 12-14 pounds) and i slice and dry ALL of it me, do dried onions OUTSIDE or you will be very sorry.
so i don't have the dried vidalias on the shelf this year yet...... i will be drying things like celery, peppers ( love dried sweet peppers, cut them in recipe sizes first- diced for soups, stews, pilafs, sauces and dips....sliced for other uses but mainly i dice them..they dry faster that way too)
btw, i love dried peach slices i eat them like candy
i also dry cabbage sliced, asparagus ends which are powdered for soup, broccoli stalks also powdered for adding to EVERYTHING, potato slices, leek slices, garlic ( powdered it makes garlic powder !!! but wear gloves to handle this much garlic or it'll burn your hands)
i have dried and love to use, zucchini slices, eggplant chunks, mushroom slices and dices, lemon, lime and orange slices ( get them when their cheap and slice thin and dry)
i dry small italian drying tomatoes and also some cherry and paste tomatos
dried foods save space, and electricity not to mention the harvest is ready
i dry alot in dices so that i add a variety to soups (yes i dry beans too, and i tried cauliflower, but it's only good for soups)
i like carrot slices dried btw, to add to soup too
and if the kids (or your partner) won't eat their veggies.... grind the dried ones up and add them to stuff for poultry
or bread crumb coatings
or meat loaf
add them also to stews and pilafs....
they won't realize it.............. and bernie loves it....never fails when i do that he tells me it's soooooooooo very good and eats two or three or more plates
SHHHHHHH that's our secret right?
ok and after they are dried....... store in air tight
i use canning jars, and i use that vacuum sealing jar attachment thingie.... i also use the used canning lids that i save, washed and dried for the vacuum sealing thingie
and try to pick a less humid day to pull the dried stuff out of the dehydrator...
you know how we always get the bunch of celery and half goes bad? dice it into the dehydrator and you've saved it

so that is what i have doing today
i have a few books on drying foods, including drying full meals for reconsituting later.... mostly for hiking etc.....
i haven't done that yet
i would like to have a couple of dried meals on the shelf for emergencies
one of my friends, kacey down in texas does 'instant soup' dried and powdered veggies and even tiny diced cooked and dried meats! she vacuum seals them in the vacuum bags though.... she's told me several times how to do it and i can't remember if she uses commerical bullion or dried her own stock

let's see..... what else?
well i should deal with the mildew problem on the ceiling of the bathroom
and on the front door
but right now i am going to finish my coffee, finish getting dressed and then get going on my day
i hope you all have had a restful and productive weekend..
and i hope you all have a lot of fun today

Sunday, June 06, 2010

books from the book sale part one

now there is another whole box but this is out of the first box, (minus bernie's books, dvd's and vhs tapes)
there are some amazing prizes here, the 'real good food' by unger, i highly recommend, it's a fantastic book, no nonsense in the battery de cusine (the tools of the chef- loosely translated) and in what is real food on a serious budget
that corned beef hash thing has saved our poor broke sorry asses more times then i care to admit
and substitue chopped ham, onions and cheddar cheese in with the white sauce and the potatoes and you (for a bit more money) can eat really well
now i adore washington irving and of course could i resist?
and a cookbook from 1924....... WITH a hand writen recipe added.......
that picnic book is something i been wanting to have around which i didn't know exhisted
if i hadn't found it i may have had to make one for myself
larousse gastronomique is of course the prize of the day as i have wanted that book for forever and could NOT afford it
and that book despereaux, well i already started reading it and it's charming

memorias of a geisha was the last book evelyn (notthemomma) was reading when she passed away, she liked it and so i wanted to read it
and anyway i like history and i like biography so that's a no brainer ditto the shakespear book and queen anne

and country living....well if you know me, you don't have to ask
now tomorrow i have some others to post, i figured this was enough of a photo load for the day
meanwhile it's overcast, and threatening here
so we will spend a quiet day puttering around the house....maybe not doing that garden bed which i desperately need done but what can you do with weather this threatening
maybe it will cool off

Saturday, June 05, 2010


ok here we go.....phoebe is in terrible molt....she's miserable... she was not beating the crap out of lilli in this picture thank goodness but we have to keep them seperate now

also here are the the girls... minus dulcette of course who is still recovering..... her and henrietta are trying to kill each other........i have poultry woes you know

we picked up a 50# bag of duckling crumble today, and some new shavings for bedding i expect ducklings next week

colette refuses to stay in the night pen, she jumps out to be petted. she needs to stop that. as she can and WILL get hurt running around the basement

we got me deep woods off, as the bites are totally out of hand, i look like i have leprosy or something- i hate it and i hate the smell.

i scored big time at the book sale
Larousse Gastronomique for 10 BUCKS!!!! oh man! i got hemmingway's farewell to arms, madam Bovary, i got a book on picnic recipes, a country living book, a beatrix potter (with a padded hard cover...way cool)
i got memoirs of a geisha, a biography of shakespear, a few antique cookbooks, oh man i better take pictures tomorrow and post them for you all
all this for 56.00!! bernie got a few tapes and a few dvd's and some ww2 books.....

we were to have gone to vicki's sale but didn't get there
i did however get to kmart and got the sheets, pillows, bathmat, etc that i needed for colleen's visit. i also got that deep woods off.....and the light bulbs for the hood over the stove
meanwhile today only dulcette went out  and the others stayed in for a change........... the big news in the garden is that the second leaves of the cucumbers are out now
so i can't WAIT for my cuc's to come on......... here come kosher dills